Monthly Archives: April 2018

In Absentia … until May 21


On May 6, I turn 65. As a gift to myself, I’ve decided to go missing from most of my daily endeavors from now until Monday, May 21. I’m going to give my desk a good cleaning, close the screen on my laptop, and walk away. I want to revisit the unscheduled/quiet/uncluttered daily-ness of my younger, more eremitish self. Forty winks and a campfire, here I come. When I return, I hope to see your smiling faces again.

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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is Debbie Klann!

Debbie Klann (debbieklann #770) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Expert Level Carpe Cocoa Merit Badge!

“I already knew how to make ganache, so I found 2 different ganache recipes to make my truffles, one dark and one white chocolate. The 4 flavors I decided on were White Chocolate Cranberry Orange (my favorite); White Chocolate Peppermint, dipped in Dark Chocolate (reminiscent of a York peppermint patty); a Bailey’s truffle dipped in dark chocolate’ and a Crown Maple truffle, also dipped in dark chocolate.

I had heard that Starbucks offered chocolate drinks during the holidays. I think I will watch for them and try their version if they are offered again. I tried to make a Mexican version of hot chocolate, not overly sweet but had hints of cinnamon. I really liked it! I don’t think I will try the Aztec chocolate drink (chocolate mixed with grown maize) anytime in the near future!”

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Today’s Recipe: Wild Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Even though my latest book, Wild Bread, is already on the shelves, we are continuing to add on to it. Lately, we’ve been dreaming of luscious, ooey-gooey, soft cinnamon rolls. As a result, over the last few weeks, we’ve been on a quest to create a sumptuous cinnamon roll. Along the way, we discovered that dates make a wonderful filling that stays put while the cinnamon rolls are baking.

Check out our cinnamon-roll recipe on my Wild Bread chatroom here.

While you’re there, join in on our conversation about everything Wild Bread!

If you haven’t picked up a copy of my latest book, you can find it here.

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Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Do You Know the Muffin Man? Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Do You Know the Muffin Man? Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper and I put up our muddy boots and got to talking.

Talking about? Muffins, of course. I mean, is there anything else in the wide, green world to talk about really? Right up there with Nancy Drew mystery stories, dresses with pockets, and whether or not one believes in ghosts, breakfast foods are really the go-to in any young girl’s conversational arsenal.

Perhaps Pooh and Piglet put it best:

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

“It’s the same thing,” he said.

But of course—and this is the really exciting part—muffins aren’t just for breakfast anymore. They belong to one of those remarkable food categories like eggs, apples with peanut butter, and granola bars: an excellent choice no matter the time of day. Midnight snack muffins? Um, yes please. Breakfast, second breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert? They can all be satiated with a muffin. They really are the perfect food …

“Aunty,” said Piper, “you’re getting that dreamy-eyed look again. Are you okay?”

“Just waxing poetical about muffins,” said I. “Top or bottom?”

“Top, of course!”

“What if you slice them from top to bottom instead of lopping off the top like most people do? Then each half would have half a top and half a bottom?”

Piper thought for a minute, then declared me a genius. (I know, I admit it humbly.)

Our next question was regarding our favorite flavors and it was such a long discussion we needed sustenance and lemonade, so we broke out the cookie jar while we deliberated. In the end, while we did choose current favorites, we realized our muffin knowledge was sadly lacking. Example: Piper had only ever had blueberry muffins and chocolate muffins, and I had been stuck in a lemon poppyseed rut for far too long. We had a feeling this badge was going to get us out of our comfort zone, and we were right!

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(n.) Origin 1760-1770

Definition: spoon, variant of obsolete spoom (of a ship) to run or scud before the wind + drift, spray blown from waves during a gale at sea. Spoondrift.

In other words, it’s what gives us “beach waves” in our hair (that are all the rage these days), and what cools off our sunburn during a trip to the coast. And it’s also the sea’s idea of an all-natural moisturizer.

Photo by Chris Richardson via Wikimedia Commons.

“Just the same, I guess I can show you girls a good time at spoondrift.”
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“Spoondrift is the spray from the tops of the waves,” explained Pearl.
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“And it was cold—oh, it was cold! The pinching cold was like a vise: spoondrift flew freezing, fold on fold. It coated them with ice.”
The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 Ministry of Education

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